Possible flyby measurements of Galilean satellite interior structure

William B. Hubbard, J. D. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Flyby encounters of the Galilean satellites from a Jupiter orbiter spacecraft could yield information about the second-degree gravity harmonics of these satellites. We have calculated the expected values of these harmonics for a range of plausible interior models in hydrostatic equilibrium. Because the satellites respond to comparable perturbations from rotation and tides, an independent test of hydrostatic equilibrium is feasible. For Io and Ganymede, the expected measurement accuracy from a nominal encounter should make possible an excellent discrimination from the ensemble of interior models. For Europa, a qualitative distinction between near-uniform and centrally condensed models seems feasible. Only for Callisto is the proposed experiment of marginal value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-341
Number of pages6
JournalIcarus
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1978

Fingerprint

Galilean satellites
hydrostatics
encounters
Callisto
Ganymede
harmonics
Europa
Io
tides
Jupiter (planet)
Jupiter
discrimination
spacecraft
tide
perturbation
gravity
gravitation
experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Possible flyby measurements of Galilean satellite interior structure. / Hubbard, William B.; Anderson, J. D.

In: Icarus, Vol. 33, No. 2, 1978, p. 336-341.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hubbard, William B. ; Anderson, J. D. / Possible flyby measurements of Galilean satellite interior structure. In: Icarus. 1978 ; Vol. 33, No. 2. pp. 336-341.
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